As long as I can remember, I have wanted to draw comics and today I have my first on the shelves of good (and bad) comic shops around the world, and on the digital storefronts too.
There’s a long story about how I came to comics, but the short version is that my neighbour gave an impressionable ten year old a copy of The Dark Knight Returns and that was that.
As long as I’ve been drawing pictures (twelve years professionally, more than that for fun), I’ve wanted to turn my hand to comics but the main thing standing in my way was myself. I’ve managed a few pages of self penned work here and there but they never felt ‘good’ enough for me. I wanted to be better so that my first impression was a good one.
I probably would still be waiting to be good enough were it not for the hand extended to me by Ales Kot. Ales got in touch with me a few years ago when he was making his entry into the world of comics and asked me if I would help put a pitch together, which for various reasons (see: the above lack of faith in my storytelling skills and my workload at the time) I said I would and then singularly failed to do so.
Some time passed.
Then, last autumn I read issue one of Zero; it was great and so I tweeted at Ales to congratulate him on said greatness. A few tweets and emails went back and forth and he offered me the chance to draw issue twelve. Insistent that I wouldn’t make the same mistakes that I had before (and actually deliver work this time), dates were pencilled in the diary. We met up at Thought Bubble and he asked if I wanted to move my issue up and draw number eight. I said yes (and sketched a couple of rough cover ideas which are in the post above). Then he asked me if I would like to draw issue seven, because it started in the desert and if there’s one thing I think I’m pretty good at drawing it’s the desert.
At that point I couldn’t work on anything any sooner than issue seven because I would be starting work on it that week, and that’s what happened. Four weeks of drawing, ably guided by Ales script and advice, then off to be coloured by the wonderful Jordie Bellaire and lettered by Clayton Cowles, the cover designed by Tom Muller.
The art at the top of this post is a mix of my layouts, uncolored and lettered pages, finished art and those cover sketches for issue eight (which I can’t wait to read).
It has been a great experience, and one that I want to have again. Which is handy because I have two more books lined up and ready to get drawing…